Make the gift unique, Custom designed jewels with meaning

 

“A gift is something of one’s self that is extended to another with the hope that it will embody the feelings of the giver.”

Make the gift unique with an inscription, a custom design or find an antique.

 

From time immemorial the resilient and enduring qualities of gold – its purity and beauty – have naturally symbolized untarnished true love.  The fiery colors of precious gems are a perfect metaphor for passion.

Betrothal, marriage and anniversaries are often marked by such gifts of jewelry.  This exchange is a long standing tradition and nearly everyone receives a gift of jewelry in their lifetime.

Aside from being central to these celebrations of love, jewelry plays a variety of roles.  It defines social status, it works as a talisman and amulet and embodies powerful magic.  Time invests these tokens with a deeper meaning and they come to represent the relationship itself.  As the relationship grows and changes over years these mementos connect recipients to celebrations.

Jewelry has captured the imagination of famous authors throughout history from William Shakespeare to Arthur Conan Doyle.  And what child hasn’t dreamed of pirate treasure?  And yet even with all of the fascination for jewelry, many encounter great difficulty selecting a gift.

Elephant brooch designed by Kevin Glenn Crane at Crane Jewelers Seattle.

Elephant brooch designed by Kevin Glenn Crane at Crane Jewelers Seattle.

Finding a gem

Part of the difficulty comes from the fact that jewelry represents a highly subjective and personal form of expression.  Because jewelry and clothing serve as an extension of image and status and reflect the wearer’s personality, the gift may not be as well received as the giver (or recipient) would hope.

Some encounter difficulty finding a piece of modern jewelry that has the qualities that make it a suitable metaphor for their love.  The diminished standards of modern jewelry leave many buyers discovering that much of what is currently available is unworthy.  Jewelry making went through a change during the Industrial Revolution when manufacturing was simplified and brought into line with the economies of scale.  Prior to this, jewelry making had been exclusively executed by hand.

These “advances” in technology – when coupled with mass marketing and distribution – expanded the availability of jewelry to its largest market ever.  Today, much of this mass production is carried out in developing nations.  The result is a product that is often compromised because it is produced with the least amount of labor and materials and the lowest level of skill.  Modern trade-shop workers are more prized for their speed than their craftsmanship. We still make our jewelry by hand in Seattle, Washington.

For some, antique jewelry represents a time when excellence in execution was the norm and a higher degree of workmanship was demanded.  The age, wear, patina and histories of these antique jewels make them attractive to connoisseurs.  They make wonderful and unique gifts that have a connection with a romantic era. We carry a wide and ever changing selection of  antique pieces.

One of a kind

A new or old piece of jewelry can take on a deeper meaning if you have it engraved.  You needn’t write a sonnet (you won’t have room for one anyway).  Just names, initials and dates or perhaps a simple inscription that reflects your feelings at this moment in time to be carried like a message in a bottle into the future.

Custom design can produce a handmade work that more closely embodies the unique qualities of the person who will wear the jewelry  The creative energy is even better if the person who will receive the jewelry is involved in the design process.  One couple  had their wedding bands sculpted in the form of an undulating river to represent its ever changing flow.  The rings included small, randomly set sapphires that mirror the war rocks are set in a river.  For them the river is representative of the flow of their lives together.  They were married in a ceremony that took place next to a particularly beautiful river.

Other examples of custom wedding bands include a couple who carved the name of their spouse in Hebrew, and another who chose a pattern based on the rings formed in a pond of water when raindrops hit the surface.  You needn’t be so literal or utilize a specific set of imagery.  Custom design works best when it is subtle, simple and elegant but somehow unique.  In our shop we have over ten thousand drawings of unique jewelry designs that we have created over the decades.

Engraved  Platinum Diamond Ring Crane Jewelers Ltd.

Engraved Platinum Diamond Ring made by hand at Crane Jewelers Ltd. in Seattle

Finding a jeweler

When looking for a jeweler, seek the recommendation of someone you know and trust.  Find examples of their jewelry and look at the work closely inside and out, front and back.  Try to determine if it has been finished with attention to detail.  Mass-produced pieces lack diversity and individuality.

If the quality, workmanship and design appeal to you, find out about the range of services they provide (i.e. can they do custom work?).  Short of a personal recommendation, look for well-established firms that have been in the business for generations or ones that are members of trade associations. Come and visit us in downtown Seattle and experience first hand the wonderful things in store.

When you give the gift of jewelry, seize the opportunity to make a great presentation.  Anything worth doing is worth doing well.  And anything involving romance is worth doing extremely well.  Use exotic wrapping paper and pour some champagne, create ambiance.  If you don’t have any ideas, draw inspiration from an old movie or confer with your jeweler.

When you need something special, I hope you will think of us.

Kevin Glenn Crane

18 Karat rose gold ring set with natural orange color diamonds.Crane jewelers Seattle

18 Karat rose gold ring set with natural orange color diamonds.Crane jewelers Seattle

CONNOISSEUR TRENDS, The Sapphire selection by Diana Key

 

 

CONNOISSEUR TRENDS,

The first in our new series will focus on Sapphire.

Sapphires have delighted connoisseurs for centuries with their spectrum of color and hues  ranging from velvety Kashmir Blue;  hues of “lotus blooms”  found in rare Padparadscha sapphires;   vibrant yellows  reminiscent of the sun and purples as rich as the lavender fields of Provence.

 

Fine Ceylon Sapphire set in platinum at Crane Jewelers

Fine Ceylon Sapphire set in a platinum ring at Crane Jewelers in Seattle, custom designed.

SAPPHIRE SELECTION:  ELEMENTS OF QUALITY

 

When evaluating sapphires, the most valuable colors, hues  and countries of origins are debated amongst gemologists and jewelers in different parts of the globe.  While the references of quality ascribed to diamonds:  color, clarity and cut, are broadly accepted across the world, there is no universally accepted grading system for colored gemstones.  Yet, few gemologists would dispute that pure, vivid colors are more desirable to muted, cloudy colors.  While market tastes will vary, the beauty of the gemstone must always rest deepest in the heart of its owner.

 

SHAPE AND CUTTING STYLES

 

The function of cut is to enhance the gem’s natural beauty to the greatest extent possible.  Sapphires provide a highly desired opportunity for collectors to select from a broader sample of cuts and shapes.  While shape is often one of the last considerations when selecting  quality rubies, quality sapphires samples are more abundant.  Although apiarists often elect to cut sapphires as ovals to allow maximum carat weight retention,  it is not uncommon to located sapphires exquisitely cut as rounds, cushions and pears in sizes over 3 carats.

 

 Hand made in platinum set with sapphire and diamonds ,Crane Jewelers Seattle

Hand made in platinum set with sapphire and diamonds ,Crane Jewelers, Ltd. Seattle

SAPPHIRES HAVE DELIGHTED CONNOISSEURS FOR CENTURIES WITH THEIR UNPARALLELED SPECTRUM OF COLORS AND HUES

 

Sapphire, also known as corundum, share the same mineral classification as rubies.  Sapphires  delight collectors with their broad spectrum of colors encompassing blue, pink, purple, yellow, orange and green.   From the opulence of velvety Kashmir Blue; to the rarity of  “lotus bloom”  Padparadscha sapphire, collectors and designers find inspiration through the natural and diverse beauty of sapphires’ understated elegance.

 

 

 

 

HOW TO EXAMINE COLOR

 

As with any color gemstone, the hue of color seen can be influenced by the light source used to illuminate it.  To ensure you select a gemstone that will look beautiful whenever you wear it, take time to examine the hue and saturation of the color against your skin and in different lighting.

 

•             Clean the stone with a cloth as fingerprints may conceal brilliance and color.

•             If possible, look at the gemstone face up against a variety of backgrounds.

•             Take time to examine the stone under direct light, as well as away from light.  Make certain the gem’s color saturation

is still pleasing to you out of direct light.

 

HOW TO EVALUATE CLARITY

 

Clarity is most traditionally understood as a reference to the inclusions within a gemstone.

 

•            Magnification will assist in evaluating the location, number and size of inclusions and if they may affect durability.

•             Clean the stone with a cloth as fingerprints may conceal some inclusions

•             If possible, look at the gemstone face up against under direct light, as well as away from light.

 

Unhealed cracks or occlusions, or a crack near the culet or a corner of a gemstone, will not only be unpleasing esthetically, they can reduce a gemstone’s resistance to damage.  Collectors should also remain aware of how these artifacts may reduce its value.

 

THE INHERENT DURABILITY OF SAPPHIRES

 

CONNOISSEUR TRENDS Sapphire Ring at Crane Jewelers in Seattle washington

A Sapphire Ring at Crane Jewelers, Ltd. in Seattle Washington

Sapphires are Grade 9 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, making them ideal for daily wear.  Only diamonds have a higher hardness grade, at 10.   The Moh’s (Mohs) scale of hardness is the most common method used to rank gemstones and minerals according to hardness.  Devised by German mineralogist Friedrich Moh in 1812, this scale grades minerals on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 10 (very hard).

 

RARE GEMSTONE SEARCHES

 

Kevin Glenn Crane is the owner and design director of Crane Jewelry Gallery.   An expert in period design, with over thirty years of experience in goldsmithing, platinumsmithing and stone setting,  Kevin Crane is available to assist with even the most exotic and rare gemstone searches.  Trained in Europe with masters from Germany, Spain and Eastern Europe,  Kevin Crane has  a loyal international following of clients and specializes in custom design and period restoration.  Crane’s work has been exhibited in North America, Japan, Italy and Germany, and is represented in collections internationally.  His work has been published in Marthe Le Van’s 500 Brooches (Lark Books).

 

 Crane Jewelers Seattle Washington

Crane Jewelers Seattle Washington

Crane Jewelry Gallery at 519 Pine Street in downtown Seattle, was designed by award winning architects Jim Olson and Tom Kundig in 1987.  Visiting the gallery is often reminisced upon as the experience of a private museum showing objects d’art from the farthest reaches of the world.

 

Location:              Visit Crane Jewelry Gallery of custom design and antique fine jewelry pieces.

Located at 519 Pine Street just across from Nordstrom in downtown Seattle.

Hours:                   Tuesday – Saturday        10 am – 5 pm

E-mail:                                  kc@cranejewelers.com

Telephone          206.624.1531 PST

 

CRANE JEWELERS-THE ART OF ELEGANCE

 

##

 

 

 

 

 

For more information contact Kevin Glenn Crane,     Telephone  206.624.1531  Pacific Standard Time

Crane Jewelry Gallery, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON  USA

 

CRANE JEWELERS-THE ART OF ELEGANCE

 

The Tale of the Ghost Bracelet

 

  1. The Ghost bracelet in hand carved black Jade, Carnelian and 18 Karat yellow gold.

The story of the “Ghost Bracelet     Written by the author Skye Moody,  

” “Having visited China many times over the past 32 years, I feel a special relationship to the land and people. In 1985, an elderly Chinese antique dealer in Guilin, who always had something wonderful waiting for me every time I visited him, sold me ten hand-cut, very old carnelian stones, the most beautiful carnelian stones I’d ever seen. They were strung on simple white cotton string. I paid US $26. for them, a fortune as far as my Chinese friend was concerned. In Hong Kong, I had 8 of the stones restrung into a bracelet with knotted black silk and a lovely gold clasp. I wore the bracelet daily, often even at night while I slept. The stones felt like a part of me. Then, eighteen years later, in 2003, I gave the bracelet to a firm for re-stringing. The bracelet mysteriously “disappeared”. I was devastated. In 2005, I met Kevin Crane, and when I told him my sad tale and showed him the two carnelian stones that didn’t end up in the bracelet, he blinked his eyes a few times, then said, “I have an idea.” In Kevin’s brilliant mind had formed the vision that would become the “Ghost Bracelet”, which I now wear every day and cherish.  Have a look at artistic genius.”

 

“When I first encountered the Stones it was clear that we were looking at some very ancient and time worn Chinese stones. They felt good when you held them in your hands. My vision was to see the missing bracelet remade as new. We could have easily copied the remaining Carnelian beads and carved her a set of new beads as replacements of the missing stones and recreated a bracelet very similar to the one that Ms. Moody had lost… However; the new beads would not have had the history and energy of the missing gems. It seemed to be more powerful and fitting to honor the missing beads by carving the replacements in black Jade and make them become a “ghost” of what had been lost.”

Kevin Glenn Crane

 

This is sky’s bracelet after restoration.

The Ghost bracelet in hand carved black Jade, Carnelian and 18 Karat yellow gold.

The Restoration of an Edwardian Lavaliere

 

A lavalier is the type of pendant popularized in the late 17th century by the Dutchess de la Valliere, a mistress of King Louis the XIV of France. The name was eventually shortened to “lavalier(e)”. The lavalier is distinguished from other types of pendants by a center drop  (usually a stone) which is directly attached to the chain  without a bail or removable connection device. [Read more...]

The Restoration of an 18th Century Sterling Silver Ladle

 

 

Punch was extremely popular in England in The 18th century.

The word punch comes to us from from Hindi panch (meaning five) and the drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices.The drink was brought to England from India by sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early seventeenth century. From there it was introduced into other European countries.

Punch was extremely popular in the 18th Century

Fig l. A group of Gentlemen quietly enjoying the companionship of friends around the “Festive Bowl” of Punch.

Punch was in consumed in large quantity from  individual cups  served  communally from a large bowl and dished out with a long handled ladle as seen in the illustration by the English artist Hogarth. [Read more...]

What is a Claddagh ring?

First designed in the 17th century by Richard Joyce, a master goldsmith in the village of Claddagh, Ireland, the Claddagh ring is distinctively two hands clasping a heart with a crown. The crown represents Loyalty, the hands Friendship, the heart Love. These rings have become a large part of Irish heritage and tradition. They are part of a larger group of distinctive rings, called Fede, or faith, rings that are always two clasped hands. Fede rings have been seen since Roman times. [Read more...]

What is a Punu Mask?

Who are the Punu People?

The Punu reside on the left bank of the Upper Ngoume River (Gabon) and belong to the group of tribes known as Shira which were originally part of the Luango kingdom of Angola. The Punu migrated northwards during the 18TH century and settled in the area where they continue to inhabit to this day. They live in independent villages divided into clans and families, and social cohesion is ensured by a society known as moukouji. Its primary role is to regulate community life with regards to social and judicial matters, and mainly it applies itself to the neutralization of evil forces. To this end, officiates of moukouji utilize a cult kit that includes statuettes, human relics and masks. [Read more...]

Restoring Antique Jewelry

When fine old jewelry needs restoration, your goal should be to preserve all the work that is good and repair or restore what is missing or broken so it blends seamlessly with the original.

Antique Jewelery  repair,  Jewelery repair, Estate Jewelery Restoration,   Crane Jewelers, antique jewelery restoration,  Estate Jewelery ,Estate Jewelery repair,Antique Jewelery, 519 Pine Street Seattle WA

Kevin Glenn Crane’s  bench in 2004

Jewelry is worn and exposed to such extreme physical stress and abuse that it’s amazing any ancient pieces still exist.

If not destroyed by the wear and tear of day-to-day use and the ravages of time and the elements, jewelry can fall victim to the shifting whims of fashion.

But when you do acquire a fine old piece that needs restoration, weigh the merits carefully.  The piece has lasted this long; the choices you make will determine how it fares in the future.

Determine your goal for the piece and deliberate which course of action you will take to meet that goal.  Each piece presents a series of questions.  To find the answers, you need to understand a few things first.  Here’s a guide. [Read more...]

Make the Gift Unique

 

“A gift is something of one’s self that is extended to another with the hope that it will embody the feelings of the giver.”

Make the gift unique with an inscription, a custom design or find an antique.

 

From time immemorial the resilient and enduring qualities of gold – its purity and beauty – have naturally symbolized untarnished true love.  The fiery colors of precious gems are a perfect metaphor for passion.

Betrothal, marriage and anniversaries are often marked by such gifts of jewelry.  This exchange is a long standing tradition and nearly everyone receives a gift of jewelry in their lifetime.

Aside from being central to these celebrations of love, jewelry plays a variety of roles.  It defines social status, it works as a talisman and amulet and embodies powerful magic.  Time invests these tokens with a deeper meaning and they come to represent the relationship itself.  As the relationship grows and changes over years these mementos connect recipients to celebrations.

Jewelry has captured the imagination of famous authors throughout history from William Shakespeare to Arthur Conan Doyle.  And what child hasn’t dreamed of pirate treasure?  And yet even with all of the fascination for jewelry, many encounter great difficulty selecting a gift. [Read more...]